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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

THE   WINDOW

view of his work. What a waste of time it all
was to be sure! Yet, he thought, she is one of
my oldest friends. I am by way of being devoted
to her. Yet now, at this moment her presence
meant absolutely nothing to him: her beauty
meant nothing to him; her sitting with her little
boy at the window—nothing, nothing. He wished
only to be alone and to take up that book. He
felt uncomfortable; he felt treacherous, that he
could sit by her side and feel nothing for her.
The truth was that he did not enjoy family life.
It was in this sort of state that one asked oneself,
What does one live for? Why, one asked one-
self, does one take all these pains for the human
race to go on? Is it so very desirable? Are we
attractive as a species? Not so very, he thought,
looking at those rather untidy boys. His fav-
ourite, Cam, was in bed, he supposed. Foolish
questions, vain questions, questions one never
asked if one was occupied. Is human life this?
Is human life that? One never had time to think
about it. But here he was asking himself that sort
of question, because Mrs. Ramsay was giving
orders to servants, and also because it had struck
him, thinking how surprised Mrs. Ramsay was
that Carrie Manning should still exist, that friend-
ships, even the best of them, are frail things. One
drifts apart. He reproached himself again. He